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tv   9 News Now at 11pm  CBS  August 14, 2010 11:00pm-11:35pm EDT

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>> that was my initial reaction when i first started reading his statement, but when we talked to him it became very clear to us he was very, very close to sam parker. the person that he looked at as a father, as a brother, had done something so terrible he couldn't wrap his mind around it. >> reporter: is ben chaffin a good witness, a believable witness? >> he's probably the most unbelievable witness i've seen in 26 years of practicing law. >> reporter: can you give me a sense of what's been going through your head? >> you know, just the people that's been in my life for 25, 30 years, you know. they recall things one way and i recall them a little bit differently. >> reporter: have you been looking at the jury at all, wondering... >> i'm not wondering. i'm going to accept what they say, and that's... that's what i'm going to do. >> reporter: and sam parker may have the jury on his side. how many of you thought ben chaffin was believable? >> he wasn't.
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>> reporter: nobody thought he was. >> none of us, even the slight bit, thought he was credible at all. we all felt like he was lying. >> reporter: not only did they dismiss chaffin's testimony. they had problems with other evidence, too. how strong was that blood evidence? >> to me, the blood was another circumstantial thing. it wasn't hard evidence for me. >> most of the evidence was all circumstantial. it was more so for us, we were putting together a jig saw puzzle. >> reporter: the jury would have to piece it all together, but it was beginning to look like the prosecution's murder case against sam parker wasn't adding up. just ahead beefing up security at metro stops after recent fights with young riders. how shy of is it tonight? 9news now -- safe is it tonight? 9news now is next. aquafresh g
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>> reporter: how theresa may have died has always been a mystery, but the prosecutions believes these photos showing bruises on parker's right arm are a significant clue to what happened. f.b.i. special agent marc veazey: >> what we felt was that mr. parker, who is known to have used choke holds in the past, had used this maneuver on theresa and that she fought back by putting her hands up and that's what left the bruises on the inside of his arm. >> i think she fought for her life at the end, and those bruises are evidence of that. >> reporter: but you would argue they didn't come from a struggle with theresa. >> oh, no, they're inconsistent with that, certainly. i didn't see them as a significant factor. >> your honor, at this time, i'd like to ask... >> reporter: prosecutor leigh patterson gives the courtroom a demonstration.
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>> going to take my heels off so i won't tower over you. >> reporter: the rear choke hold, the moves he believes parker used to kill his wife, theresa. what did you think when the prosecutor brought up the choke hold and actually asked to be put in a choke hold? >> i think it was absolutely fabrication. there was no evidence to base that upon. >> reporter: there's one more piece of explosive evidence the jury would see before they deliberate: this poster with a crude title discovered in parker's police locker. >> should have thrown it in the garbage. probably should have done that. but instead, just threw it in the locker, and that's where it sat until it was pulled out. >> reporter: so we shouldn't read into it that he had some issue with women. >> no. it means nothing. >> reporter: but it meant something to prosecutor leigh patterson. >> this is the guy who thought this was funny. ladies and gentlemen, theresa parker almost made it out.
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she almost made it to her new life. find him accountable. find him guilty. thank you. >> reporter: defense attorney david dunn pleads with the jury to be mindful of reasonable doubt. >> listen to the charge. especially the charge on circumstantial evidence. follow the law. find sam parker not guilty. >> reporter: these jurors say the task of deciding sam parker's fate was particularly daunting because they had an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence but not much else. >> in the beginning, it was very split, two and ten. two were guilty and the ten... ten were undecided. >> reporter: undecided. wow. how tense did it get as you all wrestled with this? >> very. >> it got quite heated at times. >> reporter: how many of you watched sam during the trial? >> we all did. >> we all did. >> i mean, i tried to get eye
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contact with him as much as i possibly could. >> reporter: why? >> i just needed to, just because of the feeling of this could be my uncle. this could be my brother. you know, i had to do that. >> reporter: after three days of deliberation, the jurors seemed hopelessly deadlocked. >> but on count one, which is murder, still no verdict. >> there wasn't that smoking gun. we did have to make a decision on someone else's life. >> i was very worried about sending an innocent man to jail or releasing a guilty man to do the same thing again. >> reporter: the judge urged the jury to give it one more try. and this time, they would take an even closer look at the cell phone evidence. >> it threw up that red flag of, "hey, here i am," and looking at the cell phone records, he was not where he was telling us he was.
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>> reporter: on september 3, 2009, two and a half years after theresa parker disappeared, her family would finally have a verdict. >> madam forelady, i understand you all arrived at a verdict; is that correct? >> yes, sir, your honor. >> in the speaker of lafayette county, state of georgia, the state of georgia versus samuel l. parker, we, the jury, after deliberation found the defendant, count one, guilty. >> reporter: guilty of first degree murder. parker shows no emotion. the judge hands down the ex- cop's sentence on the spot: life in prison. theresa's family leaves the courthouse in tears. >> can you tell us how you're feeling? >> he got exactly what he deserved. >> reporter: it's a victory for the prosecution team. >> can you give us a comment on how you're feeling? >> much later. i got to talk to the family. >> reporter: and a defeat for
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the defense. >> i can't comment. sorry, guys. this fight has not ended. it's barely just begun. >> reporter: does sam still have a little bit of power? >> sure, he's still got some control because he hasn't told us where she is. it's still about manipulation and control. still. >> reporter: in your gut, do you think that you'll ever find theresa? >> i hope so. we're going to keep trying. >> reporter: sam parker, the former police officer, is now a convicted murderer and still willing to talk to us. >> i never caused her an... any, you know, bad times or, you know, never once, ever hurt her. >> reporter: you never hurt her. >> no, never. >> reporter: did you kill theresa parker? >> no. >> reporter: her family thinks that you did and thinks that you could ease their agony by saying where she is. can you help them at all? >> no, i can't.
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>> reporter: christina hangs on to memories of her older sister, grateful for the guilty verdict, but painfully aware that the man destined to spend the rest of his life in prison, may be the only one who holds the key to finding theresa. christina, do you think you're ever going to find her? >> oh, i don't know. we want to find her, bring her home, lay her to rest. that's what she deserves, you know. she's not a piece of trash, and that's how i feel like he has treated her. wherever she is out there, she just doesn't deserve to be there.
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9news now in hd is brought to you by verizon fios. increased security at metro stops after recent fights among young riders. how safe is it tonight? the claims department will make those determinations. >> neighborhoods blasted by the storm are still recovering. you might be surprised to find out what's covered and what's not by your insurance company. and a bank robber escapes on foot in broad daylight leaving behind a trail of cash. >> this is 9news now. >> good evening, everyone. i'm sue rain chin. thanks for joining -- surae chinn. thanks for joining us. tonight an underground transformer fire is shutting down several blocks between 14th and 15 tonight streets in northwest right now not too far
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from -- 15th streets in the northwest right now not too far from the white house. the historic willard and the w hotels have been evacuated. the fire spread quickly. >> reporter: right now the fire was back to this portion of 14th and 15th street, but that wasn't the case for the last few hours after a fire knocked down all of the electricity and set hundreds of guest -- sent hundreds of guests scrambling. >> we see billowing black smoke coming out of what appears to be the building. >> reporter: it was a terrifying night after a manhole fire spread to two hotels just blocks from the white house. >> you could see flames coming up from the ground. >> the biggest flames i've ever seen. part of the building is definitely going to be scorched. >> the fire krewes got on the scene and did have heavy -- crews got on the scene and did have heavy smoke from the underground transformer. as they arrived there was an explosion. >> reporter: billowing smoke, flames and explosion put almost 1,000 people, hotel guests, kinders, hotel workers and people in nearby -- diners, hotel workers and people in nearby businesses into the
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street. >> i was in the bath hub. >> reporter: over 125 firefighters battled the stubborn blaze. >> we brought in the foam unit and the special extinguishment agent, what we call purple k. >> reporter: it took about an hour for the specialized unit to put out the names and pepco was brought in to try to restore power throughout the surrounding neighborhood. >> it was an electrical fire. we had to shut down the power, investigate it, realized as of now it's a bit early to find out what happened, but we were able to once we put the fire to go down into the area and restore the power. >> reporter: at this point authorities aren't sure exactly what caused the fire, but they do suspect an electrical shortage. in northwest d.c., 9news now. >> thank you. new efforts tonight and this weekend to make metro safe for passengers. extra police are patrolling stops after recent trouble among teens. officers will be riding trains and walking platforms. they want to prevent another brawl like the one last weekend
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that involved as many as 17 agers and they believe they prevented a stabbing last night -- 70 teenagers and they believed they prevented a stack last night. >> they were able to interrupt two men both which were armed with 9/11 and make an arrest very quickly at the top of -- with knives and make an arrest very quickly at the top of the platform. >> police say the all hands on deck with extra police officers will continue until sunday morning. their objective is to keep crime down in the last month of summer. a brazen bank robber left with a bag of cash, but he may not have gotten away with much. it happened in broad daylight this morning and tonight police have a good picture of him. they say this man demanded money at the chevy chase bank on new hampshire avenue in the white oak section of silver spring. police say the man walked into bank, showed the teller a moat and demanded cash, no weapon -- note and demanded cash. no weapon was shown. dye packs in the money exploded and the cash is all over the
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ground as you can see. power is back on tonight for many customers in the area and pepco is reporting less than 1,000 still in the dark. meantime power crews and tree cutters aren't the only ones busy with storm clean-up. insurance adjusters are hard at work. lindsey mastis explains when it comes to coverage, not all storm damages are treated equally. >> reporter: wood chippers and chainsaws are welcome sounds. >> just a mess. >> reporter: during thursday's storm trees did more than just tumble over. some flew. >> all of their trees are down, so half of that pine sort of landed in my yard, but then it sort of continued. the top of my tree is in my neighborhood's yard. >> reporter: amy hardin says this tree that fell in her backyard is not covered rei insurance. may mensa is an insurance -- by insurance. ray mensah is an insurance agent for state form. he says each homeowner is responsible for damage to his or her property. >> your tree falls on your
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neighbor's house, your neighbor needs to unfortunately cat insurance company. >> reporter: susie lawrence's -- call the insurance company. >> reporter: susie lawrence's backyard was once a calming place to retreat. now? i'm just looking at the video, you can tell the damage is bad, but to be here it feels like you're in the movie jurassic park and t-rex just stomped his way through. >> i'm just assuming everything will be picked up by somebody. the adjuster is coming wednesday. >> reporter: it seems like a long time to way, but adjusters are busy. >> almost over 500 claims in maryland so far. >> reporter: mensah recommends taking pictures of the damage and start making some repars and for those still without power. >> we can't do anything about your power, but if there is a power surge, this maybe some coverage there. >> reporter: because every insurance plan is different, mensah says homeowners should call their agent and ask about what's covered. i'm lindsey mastis, 9 news now. experts say food that spoils during a power outage is usually covered by insurance,
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but oftentimes the deductible is higher than the cost to buy new groceries. popco is called into question and it's reach -- pepco is called into question and it's reached the governor's office. some people have lost confidence in the power company. nearly half a million consumers have lost power since july 25th. the maryland public service commission says pepco's performance has raised tough questions about its reliability and quality of service. >> pepco looks forward to working with the maryland public service commissioners, governor, all the legislative bodies in montgomery county and the district of columbia. so we have an opportunity to show them what we've been doing and what our plans for the future are. >> maryland governor martin o'malley wrote a letter to the public service commission urging them to investigate pepco's storm service. a hearing is set for tuesday. an accident on the outer loop of the beltway in mayor hair has left a 10-year-old boy -- maryland has left a 10-year- old boy in critical condition tonight suffering from life threatening injuries from a
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single car crash just west of the connecticut avenue in kensington. a 48-year-old woman driving the car was also injured during the accident. it occurred late this afternoon when authorities say the driver was attempting to avoid some debris in the road. traffic was backed up more than two hours after the crash. police say she hit aconcrete wall, careened across several lanes of traffic and then hit another concrete wall. a family got a rude awakening this morning when a car crashed into the family's basement on west mill avenue near central avenue. four people were taken to the hospital including the driver and a passenger. police are still trying to figure out how the driver managed to veer so far off the road and into that house. terrifying moments for passengers aboard a small plane that crashed into lake erie. it happened in front of dozens of onlookers on a ferry. one witness says at first it looked like the plane was making a water landing. the plane skipped across the
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water and then nosedived into the lake. that's when the ferryboat owner and crew jumped into action. >> and i saw the plane starting to sink and that's when we just kicked into overdrive and greg made his way out there and we got the high of ring and the life jackets. some of the passengers helped out with the life jackets and we were able to get those in the water and i gathered the boat hook and the ladder. >> pulled him up to the ladder. as i pulled them up i asked everybody if they were okay to get on board, if they needed assistance and nobody needed any help climbing up. >> all four people aboard the plane are doing fine tonight, no word j the plane crashed. -- why the plane crashed. the how says the president is not backing -- the white house says the president is not backing off in any way from remarks he made last night on a controversial plan to build a muslin community center including a mosque near ground zero. the president said muslims have the right to build a mosque near ground zero and today he
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clarified what he meant. >> i will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. i was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding. >> last week the project received final rival from the city allowing it to move forward, but a recent poll found that a majority of americans, 68%, in fact, do not approve of building a mosque so close to where the world trade center towers fell. coming up tonight on 9 news now out of control wildfires getting hundreds of firefighters -- giving hundreds of firefighters a major battle this weekend. are they catching a break from the weather. and the job is far from over in the gulf, but the region is safe for travel as the first family heads there this weekend. that's next. you're watching 9 news now. >> and our weather has been rather mild for the last few days. cloud cover today kept temperatures down to only 84. our wakeup weather tomorrow, still mostly cloudy skies and we are looking for temperatures pushing through the 70s to
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about 78. i'll talk about warmer temperatures, more humidity in our complete forecast in just a moment.
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welcome back. president barack obama says the oil may have stopped flowing into the gulf of mexico, but the government's job is far from done. e says the clean-up must continue and -- he says the clean-up must continue and the polluters must be held responsible. as terrell brown tells us tonight, the first family is in the florida panhandle this weekend to convince the americans that the region is safe for travel and the surf is clean. >> reporter: president obama took a plunge into the water of the gulf with his daughter sashay the white house photo was released hours after the president made this promise. >> i'm going go swimming, but we're not going to let the press come because you guys will take pictures of me without my shirtful on. >> reporter: first family headed south as -- shirt on off. >> reporter: the first family headed south as a show support
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for the gulf coast. now oil is showing up on the gulf's -- no oil is showing up on the gulf's beaches. >> beaches all along the gulf coast are clean. they are safe and they are open for business. >> reporter: the president and his wife shook hands with coastguard officers who worked on the front lines of the oil spill. the government's' point man on the crisis says approval to finish a relief well to seal the spill for goodwill likely come tuesday, but the president offered reassurances that the federal government isn't pulling out resources yet. >> i'm here to tell you that our job is not finished and we are not going anywhere until it is. >> reporter: the president and first lady also attended a roundtable discussion with local and state officials and business owners. some who work in panama city beach say tourists are coming back. >> it slowed down, but we are able to pick up some business here and there. >> reporter: the president will overnight in florida before returning home to washington sunday. terrell brown, cbs news. the president's other
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daughter malia did not go to florida on this trip because she's at summer camp. massive wildfires in brazil are spreading across the country this weekend. dozens of fires have been reported during the past days in several forests parched by weeks of dry weather. rural areas have been the worst hit. hundreds of firefighters are battling the fires and they're not catching a break from weather conditions. strong winds are helping to fan the flames. just how safe is it in the nation's capital? so far this year there have been 72 homicides in the district. mayor fenty says that's 15 fewer murders than this time last year. today the mayor and the police chief talked about the quick arrest of suspects in two murders this week and stopping gang violence. >> closing a case that involves a shooting or a homicide between rival criminal gangs is crucial to close as quickly as possible. if we don't close those cases
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very rapidly, the chances of continued retaliation looms very quickly. >> the mayor says the number of murders in the district last year was the lowest since 1966. in tomorrow's washington examiner maryland's tax department failed to regulate hundreds of companies illegally doing business in the state and dished out $1.2 billion in tax credits to marylanders without adequately testing them for fraud according to an independent audit. read the full story in sunday's washington examiner. coming up on 9 news now a new stunt tour unveiled in the district. we'll take you -- sculpture unveiled in the district, we'll take you there. and a very pleasant day but will that change for the second half of your weekend? the answer coming up in your forecast. that's all next. kç1
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there's oil out there we've got to capture. my job is to hunt it down. i'm fred lemond, and i'm in charge of bp's efforts to remove oil from these waters. you may have heard that oil is no longer flowing into the gulf, but our spotter planes and helicopters will keep searching. we've still got thousands of vessels ready to clean up any oil we find. we've skimmed over 35 million gallons of oil/water mixture. i grew up on the gulf coast and i love these waters. we'll be here as long as it takes to clean up the gulf.
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we had a pleasant day, a nice night. we want that to continue. >> yeah, cloud cover has kept
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the temperatures down the last few days and we haven't seen a lot of sunshine, i think after 98, 100 whatever in the way of the heat index we'll take those kind of days it. unfortunately they won't last forever. in fact, we've got a little bit more sunshine that will peek through tomorrow, but i'm still going to call it mostly cloudy skies. temperatures will be on their way up tomorrow. humidity is also on the way up. then we need to talk about thunderstorms, too. let's start off with the next three days. 88 compares to today's high of 84, 82 at dulles. monday back to the 90s. this isn't an insane heat, though, just pretty hot. chance of storms all three days coming in here. we're back down to 90 as we get into tuesday's forecast. let's go overnight tonight, mostly cloudy skies, hold onto those. you'll notice that humidity is starting to pick up, not quite as dry as the last couple days and it hasn't been bone dry. it's just been bearable. we'll hate to see that humidity pick up. there's that wakeup weather, 70 to 78. by the afternoon still partly
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to mostly cloudy skies, a little bit more sunshine the last couple days we've seen and we bring the first possibility of real threat of thunderstorms back into action. i want to look at what's going off to the west tonight. we've got dying storms off the appalachians. this might bring a sprinkle towards early tomorrow morning. we'll hold some of those clouds and the showers together. you see a big breakup there over parts of west virginia and parts of southwestern pennsylvania. so i really think the rain chances tomorrow morning are minimal. right now ofs it very comfortable into the upper -- temperatures very comfortable into the upper to mid-70s fending where you are. the dew point, a -- depending where you are. the dew point, a special temperature depending on how much moisture we have out there. when you reach the dew point temperature, it turns to a cloud or dew you'd see in the morning. when it gets over 60s, starts to feel humid. you get to 70, really humid. we're going to be pushing upper 60s in those dew points tomorrow and bring back the 70s monday into tuesday, so really
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humid then. 9 futurecast is doing a bit better showing some scattered possible isolated storms going to the afternoon and evening hours tomorrow night. it's been really holding together, the best chance of scattered storms in and along ahead of a cold front here monday. now the big forecast question is when this front dies out right over the region, is it going to die off right over washington to bring us a chance of storms? i think it does. i'm going to keep the storm chances in for at least tuesday. washington, that will be the best chance of tuesday's storms and wednesday everybody will be in the action of widespread storms. blue ridge, shenandoah, appalachians, a little cooler with better chances of storms throughout the day, upper 80s in washington, back to the mid- 80s off the eastern shore here. the seven-day forecast put everything together, a slight chance of afternoon evening storms, same going for monday but a little more widespread storms? and along and ahead of that cold front. tuesday and wednesday could be the day where everybody gets
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into action cooler with widespread storms for everybody. unfortunately we have not been able to keep the return of serious heat out of action in the seven-day forecast and once again towards next weekend i think we could be mid- to upper 90s for actual air temperatures. let's hope that's not going to be the complete case, but it will be at least the end of the real mild air we've gone through. >> beautiful weekend so far, but when you talk about the difference in temperatures midweek, are we looking at severe weather again? >> well, if you get that hot any time, you are expecting storms to come through, it is a possibility, but i think it's real low so it's so far out now. >> we'll take a look at that. today a new sculpture was unveiled in front of the new daniel library in the historic shaw district. the colorful sculpture was designed by local artist clay kraft. the artist said he was inspired of the history of jazz in the shaw community and says the work has


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